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Rumor: Pacers expected to hire Mike D’Antoni as coach

Mike D'Antoni coaches Rockets vs. Pacers

Nov 5, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni coaches against the Indiana Pacers during the third quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers fired Nate McMillan, who had done pretty well. That’s the type of move teams often make only with a replacement already lined up.

Mike D’Antoni told the Rockets he wouldn’t return despite them showing interest in retaining him. That’s the type of move coaches often make only with another job already lined up.

Perhaps, those decisions are connected.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

the expectation is that D’Antoni will be hired by the Indiana Pacers

This clearly isn’t a done deal.

D’Antoni (and Billy Donovan) will interview with the 76ers, according to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News:

Indiana is also reportedly exploring other candidates.

D’Antoni would definitely shake up the Pacers if that’s what they want. His offensively dynamic, up-tempo history stands in sharp contrast to McMillan’s slow-it-down style.

In Houston, D’Antoni showed more versatility in his system. But he’s still a coach who needs players who fit his style. Spacing and speed are important. Indiana, with two bigs in Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, doesn’t necessarily have that.

If hiring D’Antoni, the Pacers should treat that as part of a larger overhaul. As good as he is with the right players, D’Antoni hasn’t shown he can successfully coach just any group.